Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Imagine Not Being Able to Read the Bible

The Big Idea: The Bible which used to be in Latin and Greek throughout the world, was put into our language because of daring Scripture spies who risked everything.

Imagine not being about to read the Bible!

Imagine not being able to read the Bible for yourself! Long, long ago, the average person did not know how to read the Bible, or anything else.

There were very few copies of the Bible available and what existed was in Latin or Greek.

My husband, raised in the Roman Catholic Church, recalls Latin masses. One of his neighbors brought the Sunday paper to church every Sunday and read during the service because he understood nothing spoken or read!

How do I know I’m not cursing myself?

The first 1500 years after Christ were like the neighbor's experience. The 2 ruling churches from the East (Orthodox, favoring Greek) and the West (Roman Catholic, favoring Latin) saw putting the Bible into the language of the people as suspect.

“They don’t have the clerical education to interpret it!”
Churches preached in Greek or Latin and offered communion, conducted baptisms and weddings as such.

But as a Muslim friend of mine puts it, “I have to read the Koran and pray in Arabic. How do I know I’m not cursing myself with the very words I speak?”

The Dark Ages were… well, dark

The Dark Ages (~500-1400 A.D.) had a grip of darkness over mankind. Life was hard and people died too easily. The Viking conquests, the Black Plague, and the Crusades were some time markers.

The Church, instead of bringing comfort and hope to the masses, bickered and controlled Sovereigns and money. And they preached in a language people did not understand.

But God always keeps a remnant! Not silent, God works through humble people with a passion for Him.

The next month we'll briefly look at those who risked even life to make God known. Single minded in their fervor, they tried to get the Bible into the language of the people.

These folks are why we have the Bible in our hands today.

Daring Scripture Spies

As we look at the lives of these Scripture Spies, they share these five traits in varying degrees.

 1. A longing for the average Joe to know God

2. Compelled by God to change people’s lives

3. Challenging the status quo

4. In danger, hunted down, life threatened

5. Instrumental in pointing people to know God 

Bonus: Influencer on thousands through the centuries


Up next: First Prize goes to the Oxford man!
Previous post: The most remarkable after death appearances


1. Imagine you can’t read anything. Imagine everything you hear at church is in a language you don’t know. How do you keep the faith?

2. Does the Bible seem like gobbly-gook sometimes, even when you’re reading it in your language? Have you tried another translation? Compare a couple of verses in different translations (like the New Living Translation) and ask yourself if that enhances understanding for you. (You can find other translations of the same verse from


If you would like to receive Scripture Spy every Wednesday as an email, 
send your email address to